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Student story: Austin from Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Published on 1.10.2021
updated on 5.10.2021
Tampere University
Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology
Picture of Austin, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering student
Hi there! I'm Austin from Baltimore, Maryland, USA. I studied Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Cellular Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my bachelor's degree.

Why did you choose this programme and Tampere University?

I decided to come to Tampere to study in this major in part because I was offered a scholarship, but mainly because the program included all the things, I was looking for in a master's program in my field and because Finland has a world-renowned education system.

How has it been studying here?

I really enjoyed the classes here in Finland, and I really appreciated the flexibility that the program offered for choosing the courses I could take and supplement my major with including language courses and some business classes. I felt like I had a fair amount of freedom to choose the topics that I was truly interested in and could change my course progression if I felt like I did not like a class or a topic.

What kind of experience have you gained while studying?

I have been working on my master's thesis and research project work in the bioengineering and nanomedicine lab here at Tampere University under Professor Oommen for almost a year now. I have gained a lot of hands-on lab experience in both organic synthesis of soft biomaterials but also stem cell work and nanoparticle drug delivery projects. I have enjoyed my experience thus far in the lab, and I hope to be a coauthor of two journal articles from my work. I have also been given a lot of independence in lab and have been able to run my own projects related to my master's thesis topic, Photo-crosslinkable Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels. I am also hoping my current lab work experience helps me soon to find a PhD position or a job position at a biotech company here in Finland. 

How do you like Tampere and Finland?

My impressions of living thus far in Finland have been very positive, besides the dark and grey late fall to early winter weather. The people here in Finland can seem a bit quiet or distanced sometimes, but they are generally very nice and helpful once you get to know them. Also, the Finnish student culture is very strong, and there are many fun activities organized throughout the school year that you should not miss out on! The winter can be cold, but there are so many fun activities to do outside that keep you happy even in the cold like swimming in the lake followed by sauna, skiing, ice hockey, skating etcetera. Finns are always outside, regardless of how bad the weather is. All in all, Finland is a wonderful place to live and offers many opportunities for soaking in the culture.